One of my favorite pieces from the BFA show was the interactive wall installation by HA13. It was like a hidden jem, packed in the back of the gallery behind a wall. The urban-ish landscape stuck on a vertical axis was immediately striking, and the aqua streaks of paint seeping from the cracks drew me in further. The visual aesthetic alone was an easy access point for the piece, even if I didn't immediately understand its substance. The buzzer initially led me to believe that it was interactive, and reacted when I approached it. It seemed simple enough, but the more I played with it, I realized that I had no idea what was triggering the buzzer. It seemed to go off at random in my presence and it really grabbed my curiosity. It was a very fun piece to try and figure out and very visually pleasing, but my full appreciation of the piece came after learning its true meaning. In reference to the recent tsunami in Japan, the piece suddenly became very ominous and grave. It was sobering to visualize the forms as buildings from a birds-eye view, hearing the tsunami warning siren and watching the water seep from the buildings like blood. It forced me to ponder my own reaction to the tsunami, reflecting on my sympathy or lack thereof. The piece revealed itself as having a very true and honest meaning, and I really appreciated it.
The MFA show was larger, more diverse, and included far more works, but my favorite piece was probably the first one you see when you walk in. "Door (embedded)" by Jennifer Anable was very welcoming, and really drew me into the gallery. How simple, to have the first piece be made of doors in a gallery whose entrance has none. It spoke to me before I even walked into the gallery. "Come on in! Open the door!" The delicate staging of the doors made me consider balance, as if on a threshold. I visualized the potential motion of these two doors, stuck in each other like, well, doors in a door frame. I saw them swinging through each other on invisible hinges, and I felt the movement of the two panes through space. I thought of them as potential portals, something I didn't expect to consider at first glance.